Editor’s Note: This story originally appeared on FlexJobs.com.
Negotiating salary can be an uncomfortable part of a job offer, especially when you’re likely thankful for the offer and hope to see it through!
But not negotiating for fair pay can put you at a disadvantage.
In fact, 58% of Americans don’t negotiate their salary.
That means more than half of America is leaving money on the table. That’s money they could use to put a down payment on a home, add to a child’s college fund, or use for a dream vacation.
How to Negotiate Your Salary
You deserve fair compensation. Here are a few essential questions to ask during salary negotiations.
1. Is the salary up for negotiation?
Hopefully, the answer is yes.
But before you even ask the question, research with sites such as Payscale to determine the market rate for your title and location.
This is also critical for women and other historically excluded groups to close the pay gap. Use this data to your advantage during your negotiations.
Sample response: Hi, Mark, I’m excited about the opportunity with [ABC Company]. I appreciate the benefits, including paid time off and the options for hybrid work. However, based on my research, salaries for speech therapists in Los Angeles start at $90,000. Is the original offer of $78,000 up for negotiation?
2. How did you arrive at this number?
Ask this question to determine how the company arrived at the number they offered you. You can see if they factor in years of experience, education, or anything that makes you uniquely qualified for the role.
Again, do your research so you have an idea of what the market rate is for your position.
Sample response: Thanks, Courtney, for the opportunity to work at [XYZ Software Company]. I understand how you arrived at $60,000, but I was wondering if that number is open to negotiation. During the interview for the email marketing position, you mentioned that your company is expanding its market to South Korea.
As someone who is bilingual in Korean and English and spent a year living in Seoul, I deeply understand your customers’ language and culture. I’ll be able to create content that resonates with them. Do you have any room to increase compensation to $65,000?
3. Are other benefits up for negotiation?
If the company won’t budge on salary, try negotiating for other benefits.
For example, you could ask about a sign-on bonus (just be sure to read the fine print) or negotiate for a hybrid or remote work arrangement.
Sample response: Hi, David. I understand that the offer of $48,000 for the public relations specialist position doesn’t have any wiggle room for negotiation. I read that some employees work at home two days a week.
My previous job was also in a hybrid work environment, and the days of skipping the commute and staying home allowed me to focus better and be more productive. Would it be possible to arrange a hybrid schedule as part of the job benefits?
4. Are there opportunities for bonuses or raises?
Regardless of whether or not there’s an opportunity to negotiate a higher salary, find out if there are opportunities for bonuses or raises based on performance.
This information is crucial for determining what your compensation might look like in the long term at the company and how the company rewards high-performing employees.
Sample response: Thanks for offering me the position of senior software engineer. Before we proceed further, are there opportunities for performance-based bonuses or salary raises?
Negotiate Your Salary With Confidence
Negotiating your salary can initially seem daunting, but it doesn’t have to be. These four questions will help you get the pay and benefits you require for long-term career satisfaction.